Resources for Eucharistic Adoration
Resources for Eucharistic Adoration
What is Eucharistic Adoration or Benediction?
Eucharistic Adoration is the devotional practice of adoring and praying in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. To clarify, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction are two terms that are popularly used interchangeably but do in fact have slightly different meanings. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is solemn liturgical service, involving exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, an opening prayer, Adoration, incensing, Benediction - a blessing made with the sacrament - and concluding with divine praises and a Psalm. However, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, also called Eucharist Adoration, can and does take place outside of the formal liturgical rite.
Why attend Eucharistic adoration?
"The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The presence of Christ under the sacred species reserved after Mass - a presence which lasts as long as the species of bread and of wine remain - derives from the celebration of the sacrifice and is directed towards communion, both sacramental and spiritual.It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.
It is pleasant to spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple and to feel the infinite love present in his heart. If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the "art of prayer",how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? How often, dear brothers and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation and support!"
- Ecclesia Eucharistia, a 2003 encyclical letter of the Pope John Paul II.
Guides and Introductions
If you are new to the Catholic faith or have felt reluctant to attend Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament because you are unfamiliar with the devotion, you may want to read up on the "how-to's" as well as the significance of Eucharistic Adoration.
A good starting point, especially for parishes to begin encouraging Adoration by parishioners, is the brief introductory pamphlet Eucharistic Adoration. To delve further into the history and meaning of the Blessed Sacrament, take some time to read In the Presence of Our Lord: The History, Theology, and Psychology of Eucharistic Devotion. You may also be interested in this 3-CD set of talks, The Urgent Message of Ecclesia Eucharistia, which discusses, among other topics related to the Eucharist, the value of Eucharistic Adoration. Also available is the DVD, Living the Eucharist: Exposition, Benediction, Adoration.
Prayer Books and Prayer Aids
If you are already familiar with Eucharistic Adoration, but seeking to expand and enrich your devotion, Aquinas and More carries a large selection of prayer books for Eucharistic devotion.
The book Adoration: Eucharistic Texts and Prayers Throughout Church History combines prayers and reflections, as well as insight from Church teaching and tradition. Jesus Present Before Me is also a wonderful collection of prayers and reflections to help you make the most of offering your time to Adoration of the Sacrament.
The Praying in the Presence of Our Lord series is a great set of resources. These books pull together inspirational words and prayers spoken by some of our most beloved saints that we might gain something from their profound devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Some of the great titles in this series are Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with St. Thomas Aquinas, Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with Fulton Sheen, Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with Padre Pio, and more. View all of the Praying in the Presence of Our Lord books by clicking here.
Also available is Benedictus: A Eucharistic Healing Album, a moving musical collection of traditional Holy Hour hymns as well as contemporary adoration songs from Vinny Flynn and Still Waters. Ideal for Holy Hours, Healing Services, Eucharistic Adoration, or just quiet prayer time.
Eucharistic Adoration for Children
It is a great idea to teach children early the value and significance of the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration. Aquinas and More carries several resources to help facilitate a love for the Blessed Sacrament beginning in childhood.
Two great DVDs for introducing children to the great mystery and significance of the Eucharist are When Children Adore and The Eucharist for Little Children, wonderful resources for the spiritual education of young ones. Children's Adoration in the Third Millennium is great for parents and educators who would like to implement Eucharistic Adoration in the classroom or family prayer life.
The Praying in the Presence of Our Lord series mentioned above also has a title specifically geared towards the young in Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for Children. This book is a great introductory resource for children that helps to explain the Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, and, aided with beautiful artwork and photos, covers such topics as how to pray in adoration before our all-loving God, why we pray, and praying at Mass and during the Church's liturgical seasons.
And to reinforce the concepts learned about the importance of the Blessed Sacrament, children will enjoy coloring in the Eucharistic Adoration coloring book, one of the many wonderful, Catholic-themed coloring books Aquinas and More carries.